Yo ball warning

Merton Council is warning of strangulation dangers associated with the new craze of “Yo” balls and are advising residents to dispose of them immediately to avoid potentially fatal accidents.

Trading Standards officers across the country have been dealing with a number of incidents over the past month involving Yo balls, which can pose a strangulation hazard if used in an inappropriate way. The toy, which has been an instant hit with children across Britain, has a strap made of highly elastic material that can become wrapped around the throat of a child during play.

As a result the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) have now issued a prohibition notice on the sale of Yo Balls. The prohibition notices prevents the named suppliers from supplying the toy in the UK and many retailers have already withdrawn existing stocks from sale. The sale of these toys is of nationwide concern and the issue of the DTI prohibition notices is seen as an effective way of dealing with the national problem.

Merton Council’s Trading Standards officers are advising anyone still stocking the items covered by the prohibition notice not to sell any more, as the DTI tests concluded that the toys fail to meet the safety requirements of the Toys (Safety) regulations. Officers will be checking for Yo ball stockists in the borough, advising the retailers of the threats and asking them to remove the toys from sale. They will then conduct follow up visits and will be looking to take appropriate enforcement action if the toys remain on sale.

Parents should be alert to the potential hazards of the Yo Balls and consider whether it is an appropriate toy for their children.

Ian Murrell, Merton Council’s Commercial and Trading Standards Manager, said: “I advise and urge residents to dispose of their children’s Yo balls to avoid any dangerous accidents. If you see a store/market in Merton continuing to sell Yo balls then please contact us on 020 8545 4018 so we can investigate.”